oa South African Health Review - Human resources for rural health

Volume 2011, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1025-1715



This chapter reviews the realities of and challenges to improving human resources (HR) for rural health care in South Africa. The difficulties are serious - and progress towards solutions is slow. The stark reality of a gross shortage of health workers sustains poor health outcomes for rural people, and needs immediate attention. This chapter places current progress in context.

The lack of acknowledgement of the uniqueness of rural health care with respect to HR is evident in different Government policy initiatives. The recent National Department of Health (NDoH) plan to re-engineer the primary health care sector is critiqued, as are the Negotiated Service Delivery Agreement and the recent NDoH Human Resources for Health strategy.
HR interventions in the short term, as well as longer-term recommendations in the categories of education, regulations, finance and personal and professional support, based on international guidelines are suggested.

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